Natalie DiNenno, Marj Glass, Christy VanRooyen, Dr. Nate Bickford, Dr. Dan Peterson
Natalie DiNenno, Marj Glass, Christy VanRooyen, Dr. Nate Bickford, and Dr. Dan Peterson

On March 8, representatives of Oregon Tech Environmental Sciences and Klamath Outdoor Science School (KOSS) signed an agreement to collaborate on environmental education initiatives in the Klamath Basin. 

The collaboration will focus on several key areas, including promoting research-based educational practices, providing professional development opportunities, creating standards-aligned curriculum for K-12 students, and providing quality environmental educational experiences for diverse audiences in the community.

"We have a shared mission in getting young adults out in the environment and learning about nature, so I think that this is something that will benefit both of our organizations,” said Marj Glass, KOSS Board President.

In 2023, Oregon Tech added a Recreation and Science Ambassador track within its Environmental Sciences program. As part of developing the track, Oregon Tech faculty reached out to KOSS, a nonprofit that provides youth with residential and day outdoor school experiences, to learn how Oregon Tech students could support KOSS programs through teaching, curriculum development, and volunteer work. 

"KOSS has been a leader in outdoor education in our region for many years, and its commitment to teaching about the environment parallels the mission of the Environmental Science program," said Christy VanRooyen, Director of Oregon Tech’s Environmental Sciences program. "This agreement creates an amazing opportunity for Oregon Tech students to participate as advisory board members with KOSS and to learn about the operations of a nonprofit organization. I look forward to exploring how we can work together to bring more environmental education opportunities to the Klamath Basin and surrounding areas."

Natalie DiNenno, Marj Glass, and Christy VanRooyen signing agreement

"We are very fortunate to have a local university that is incorporating environmental education into the curriculum. This is a vibrant, developing environmental field that many people are still not aware of as a career option," said KOSS Executive Director Natalie DiNenno.“We hope to have Oregon Tech students come to work with us to apply what they are learning in the classroom to working with kids at outdoor school or on field trips, and maybe consider that as a possible career path for themselves.”

Environmental Sciences student Theo Rogers is excited about the opportunity to work with a real-world partner in an immersive experience that represents what students will encounter after they graduate. 

“It's one thing to write a lesson plan, but crafting a lesson to be used in a real lesson feels incredibly gratifying, like what I'm doing is actually making an impact," Rogers said. 

Students currently enrolled in Oregon Tech ENV 466 Environmental Education are revising select curriculum for KOSS to share at one of its outdoor programs.

“I'm especially excited to see how the students interact with and respond to the lessons when they are taught,” said Rogers.

For more information about Oregon Tech Environmental Sciences, visit